Aug 11, 2021
A partnership between Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the GLL Sport Foundation has seen talented local athletes fulfil sporting history at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Diving’s Tom Daley & Matty Lee head the list of local hero medal winners and Olympians who competed at the delayed Games. Tom Daley also achieved a Bronze medal in the Men’s Individual 10m Platform.
5 talented young athletes, from across Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - Tom Daley, Matty Lee, Grace Reid, Scarlett Mew Jensen & Noah Williams - who are all part of GLL owned Dive London Club, benefitted from financial support and free access to a comprehensive range of sport facilities across the UK, including local facilities in London Aquatics Centre, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The GLL Sport Foundation (GSF) was established in 2007 by charitable social enterprise GLL to support young sporting talent across the UK and help them maximise their sporting potential. The GSF is the UK’s largest independent athlete support programme with 3,000 athletes supported annually with access to almost 260 sport and leisure facilities.
GLL manages Better Leisure Centres on behalf of LLDC and this arrangement provides the basis for the partnership with the GSF. GSF athlete awards cover Olympic, Paralympic, Deaflympic, Special Olympic and Commonwealth sporting disciplines.
With a staggering 97% of award recipients receiving no other sport funding and 63% of recipients being aged under 21, the GLL Sport Foundation has highlighted a vital funding gap for young talented athletes currently competing and National and international levels. Matty Lee, Diving who won a Gold medal and has been supported by GSF for 2 years medal said: ” The extra support helps massively with training and will help me with the price difference of living in London than somewhere like Leeds.”
Peter Bundey, GSF Chair, paid tribute to the athletes, programme stakeholders and also highlighted the impact the Foundation is making. He said: “These last 18 months since the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic have had an unprecedented impact on our lives and been hugely challenging for all involved in sport.
“With so many athlete preparations disrupted, we are proud of every one of the athletes and the part we and our sponsors and local authority partners have played in their sporting journey with Team GB.
“Since the Foundation began, we have now given nearly 20,000 athlete awards, totalling over £12million of support.
“This is possible because of our unique not-for-profit business model and it’s something our customers can also take pride in - because when they choose us they are supporting sport at grassroots level.”
GSF Patron and former Olympic Champion Sally Gunnell OBE said: “It’s a fantastic achievement for the GLL Sport Foundation to have provided 89 athletes with support through their journey to Tokyo.
“It is a testament to the hard work athletes put in daily and highlights the impact that the support of programmes such as this can have.”
All eyes now turn to the Paralympics which begin on 24 August where local GSF supported athlete Ellie Simmonds competes in swimming.